Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Morning Walk in a Bangalore Park.

While Bangalore may be better known internationally for its Software Technology Parks, a rather large number of public parks with varied plant content do dot the city, and provide valuable infrastructure for exercising and socialization. Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park, of course, are two of the more famous ones. The few of them I visited in recent years are indeed very well designed to encourage walking, or jogging, as a means of exercise for the local inhabitants. The photo depicted on the right is a morning scene from Dhanvantari Park in J P Nagar 2nd Phase, in the southern part of Bangalore.

A morning walk in such a park can be refreshing in more than one way. The obvious physical benefits of exercising before a breakfast is, of course, well-known. An unstated rule in most of these parks (with endless walkways) is to go clockwise from where you can enter the walkway. This is perhaps an influence of how devotees go about doing pradakshina in Indian temples.

In addition, in a morning walk in a place like the Dhanvantari Park, you see additional entertainment and intellectual benefits as well:

  1. A serious exercise-minded individual will go through his exercise routine listening, through his feature phone's MP3 player, to Bollywood goodies of Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, et al., of yesteryear, sprinkled with music by modern day singers such as Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal.
  2. A serious jogger will approach from behind you with his musical support for exercising, namely Vishnu Sahasranamam, which wanes as he passes you by.
  3. A set of elderly gentlemen is lounging on a bench discussing, in Gujarati for example, either the contemporary political fallout such as from Baba Ramdev's stance, or a problem encountered in one of their households regarding a certain human relationship gone sour.
  4. A determined Pranayama practitioner will occupy a slightly elevated part of the park to go through the various prescribed steps ...
  5. Then, there is the group of walkers who find it necessary to walk side by side, to the full width of the walkway, to increase their socialization coefficient, occasionally denying a faster walking, or a jogging, individual to pass them by.
Ah, finally, how can you not appreciate the sighting of Girish Karnad, an accomplished contemporary artist, as you complete your own walk? (One of his latest films is एक था Tiger, in which he plays a character role). A morning well spent, you tell yourself, your blood circulation quota for the day achieved, your awareness of the fullness of life sharpened, and you look forward to the rest of the day.

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